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Group dynamics

A group comprises of at least two individuals who unite with a sole purpose of accomplishing a specific goal. A particular group differs from another on the basis of its attitudes as well as its behavior. Groups can be broadly classified as formal and informal groups. The members of any group are bound by the social relationships that exist amongst themselves. Their interactions influence each one of them since they espouse a ‘we’ feeling. For one particular group to differentiate itself from others, dynamic processes become important.

These includes rules and regulations, roles, the relations involved, the development of the group, sense of belonging, how the group influences the members’ socially and their behavior as defined by the group. These attitudes and behaviors that characterize a group are referred to as group dynamics. The basic concerns of group dynamics include; how they form, how they are structured, the process involved as well as the way they function. Group dynamics can also be seen as the study of social groups. It may also be taken to stand for a term that generally stands for group processes.

It should be noted that ‘groups’ play a very vital role in any organization setting. This indicates why studying groups as well as group dynamics is an area of importance in the study of organizational behavior. (L Daniel, 2001,pp. 65-66) Multi field club is a group of graduates who came together to help each other in starting businesses that will offer them self employment following the increasing rate of unemployment in the country. The members have different professional qualification and target to establish the businesses according to each individuals profession and thus the origin of the name ‘multi field’.

The group is made up of eight graduates. This includes the chairman, the secretary and the treasurer who are chosen every year through secret ballot. The chairman receives views and opinions from all members regarding their experiences, challenges and new business opportunities that arise. He then lists them down and proposes for a date when the members should meet. The meetings should be held at least once per month unless there arises an issue of urgency. He also chairs the meetings.

Any member who wants to contribute to any discussion seeks permission from the chairman by raising his hand. He is also one of those who signs cheques to authorize any financial transaction as agreed by the group. He also plays the supervisory role. The secretary keeps records of the group. He writes the minutes of the group meetings and drafts the pro grammes of the minutes. He records all monetary transactions and updates the group constitution each and every time it is amended. He also signs checks to authorize any financial transaction.

The treasurer records all cash entries. All money is directly deposited into the bank under the group name and the bank slips forwarded to the treasurer for recording. He gives a financial report on all transactions in every meeting. The guarantor keeps all check books and provides them whenever there is a need to withdraw money from the bank. He is elected after every month. This is to ensure the group members have confidence with the signatories and to avoid all intra group conflicts. The other members carry out market research and submits a report once in every month.

They look for new business opportunities and write a business plan proposal which should then be submitted to the group. When it is approved by the group, they carry out a feasibility study and drafts the final business plan that is forwarded to the group for further discussion and funding. As an observer, I attended one of the multi fields meeting. The topic of discussion in that meeting was to approve a business plan that was about starting a night club. The proposal was at its last stage and the market research team was presenting their feasibility study report.

They explained the business plan to the members step by step. After every step the members were allowed to ask questions which the market research team were supposed to answer and provide evidence from their research work. At the end of the meeting, a decision was to be made whether or not to fund the proposed business. After the proposed business is approved, the members were expected to scrutinize the budget and agree on the amount of money to be allocated. An implementation schedule was supposed to be drafted that would indicate when the project was supposed to commence.

A date was supposed to be set for a meeting in order to evaluate the progress of the project. The meeting was held in a hotel ball room. Even though it was held during the day the lights were on. This is because the room was too big to be served by the daylight that came through the window. The light was however moderately bright. The meeting could have been held in another place because the room was too big to host a meeting of eight people. All the members sat around a round table with the chairman sitting between the secretary and the treasurer. The table was large enough to accommodate all members comfortably.

The members did not put their phones off and the meeting was frequently disrupted by phone calls. Since the meeting did not start on time and the ball room was booked for four hours only, another meeting that was supposed to be held in the same venue disrupted the multi field’s meeting partially especially towards the end of the meeting. Some members could not hesitate to comment on the sweet music that came from the restaurant that is located directly opposite from the ball room. (J Matthew, 2007, pp. 10-11) The meeting started by a few remarks from John who is the chairman.

He raised issue after issue and allowed the members to discuss. After thorough discussion he probed for a decision. In case there were other competing suggestions, he called for secret ballot in order to arrive at a decision. He therefore played the role of initiator, summarizer as well as harmonizer. Peter who is the secretary played the roles of an elaborator and encourager. He provided all relevant data on issues on discussion and indicated the possibilities of success as indicated by the trends in the past. Martin who is the treasurer played the role of clarifier.

He gave all the information on banking and withdrawals that the group had undertaken since inception. Justus raised critical issues on money spending and market research. He was very aggressive when demanding clarification and disagreed openly with members. He played the roles of an aggressor. Samuel, Vincent, Cyprian and James who were the market researchers provided information and clarified it. They left it to the group to decide and were very willing to compromise with the decision the group would make on their report. They played the role of clarifier as well as compromiser. (D Bill, 2002, pp.

104-105) A decision to approve the proposal was to be reached if 75% of all members were convinced. Neither the research team nor the top officials could manipulate a decision in favor or disfavor of any member. In the next meeting, I attended as a participant. The project had been approved in the previous meeting and in this meeting the members were supposed to evaluate the progress of the ongoing project. In the process of evaluation, a clear and precise report on financial expenditure was supposed to be given. Any changes or modifications were supposed to be tabled, discussed and decisions made.

The meeting was held at the site of the project and in the open air. The day was very sunny. Members sat on seats that were borrowed from a nearby hotel. There were noise disruptions from vehicles that were passing by. Most of the members did not put their mobile phones off and there were disruptions from phone calls. At this time round John played the role of initiator and summarizer, while Peter maintained his role of an elaborator and encourager. Martin elaborated financial report and reconciled members whenever they happened to be misunderstanding on money issue.

He therefore became an elaborator and harmonizer. Justus kept on asking for cash sale receipts as an evidence for some money was not well spend. He played the role of tester. I suggested that members should switch off their cell phones and concentrate on the issues under discussion. I saw the good work that had been done over a duration of one month and urged the members to keep up the spirit. I therefore played the role of opinion giver as well as encourager. The rest demonstrated their satisfaction through smiles and clapping and played the role of encourager.

(D Bill, 2002, pp. 104-105) From the meetings I attended, I noted the following; whenever John started a discussion ideas were generated from members. Through proper reconciliation of different opinions between members and successful review of discussion, John helped to ensure group cohesion. (L Daniel,2001,pp 65-66) Members maintained respect among themselves and kept on striving for achieving the goals. (Gary C. , Edwin L, 2000, pp. 239-241) Proper elaboration of issues by Peter and Martin presented conflict and mistrust among members.

The clarification role played by Martin, Samuel, Vincent, Cyprian and James encouraged members to pursue their goals since it improved their confidence on the feasibility and benefits of the project. Samuel, Vincent, Cyprian, James and I also eased the process of decision making through compromise and encouragement. I suggestively called for review of rules and regulations that regulate conduct of members in the group. The first meeting was successful despite the fact that members were late and disruptions. All scheduled tasks were accomplished and implemented as well as observed in the in the second meeting.

The second meeting did not achieve. The environment could not allow proper evaluation of the project. Most of the group’s work has started to yield fruits and the group members are very determined to achieve their goals and thus the group will continue to work well. Multi field group is currently implementing what they have strived for over a couple of years. They have successfully been guided by the constitution that they wrote soon after they came together. This implies that they have successfully gone through almost the four stages of team development since this is the third project.

Group dynamics is therefore important since it enables an individual to achieve what they could not have achieved independently over a short period of time. (H Beth, G Florence, C Mae, 1992, pp. 104-105) ? References D Bill, Leading Life-changing Small Groups, 2002, pp. 104-105 Zondervan Gary C. , Edwin L, (2000), Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Blackwell publishers J David, (2006), The Facilitators Fieldbook: Step-by-step Procedures, AMACOM Div american mgmt Assn pp. 13-15 ? L Daniel, (2001), Group Dynamics for Teams, SAGE publisher

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